2011 Continental Cup of #Curling: Day 2

What a day, what a day, what a mighty fun day!

Catch up on yesterday. Now try keep track of all the cool stuff I learned...

(That's bad grammar eh? Must fix that or no one is ever going to give me a cool blogging job.)

I slept in (oops!) but headed out to the venue at about 10am, in the middle of the ladies morning draw. First I had to find the Canadian Curling Association (CCA) office, and went on quite the tour with one of the security volunteers. I did get to walk down the hallway past all the player's locker rooms; it's lined with photos from past Continental Cups. Eventually we found the CCA IT room and I met two guys with the coolest job ever! They do all the website/media stuff for the CCA events and along with another staff member who does the accounting, were kind enough to let me hang out with them throughout the day.

First I got a new accreditation badge with more fancy access stamps (my third one!). Then I got to go for a quick tour of the media bench, which was cool because I walked past the coaches/captains and lots of people doing important things like stats and scoring. Plus I got a good view of the commentators box. I also got to step on one of those sticky matts that remove the dirt from your shoes. I know this sounds stupid, but this was kind of neat because I always see the curlers doing that on tv on their way to the ice, and well, I love all this backstage stuff, remember. And I met a lovely woman who works for the World Curling Federation, who seemed to know my name for some reason. Why I wonder? How far has my honest big mouth blogging/tweeting travelled?

Next was the coolest part of the day: media scrums. The CCA IT guys let me hang out and watch the recording of the mini interviews with Andrea Schoepp, Jennifer Jones, Erika Brown, Cheryl Bernard and Rick Lang.

Andrea Schoepp

Rick Lang - Captain of Team North America

And the final cut of the video shot by a camera with a better microphone than my iPhone...

Then I actually got to go out near the ice to watch them tape a longer interview with captains Rick Lang and Peja Lindholm! Also kind of silly, but it was super cool being so close to the ice and such accomplished curlers. Plus it was a funny interview.

I love this picture because it's a semi-blurry high-5 action-shot with the camera in view. Behind the scenes shots rule!

Here's the link to the video I shot on my iPhone. It's hard to hear and shaky, but it was fun to try out the video camera on my phone. I'll leave the videotaping to the professionals from now on. I promise to post/embed the actual final edit of the video once the CCA gets it up on their CCA youtube channel

Already this was a lot of excitement for one day. I know the novelty has worn off for many employees who do this as a job, for all the events every year, but the novelty certainly hasn't worn off on me yet. Yes, I'm not as star struck when curlers walk past, but I still notice, and get excited, and think it's super neat they let me hang out in their territory. And I've said before that I love all this backstage/behind the scenes stuff (fascinating!) - I even got to see the IT guy edit and post one of the videos on youtube, and it was just neat. These people have cool jobs!

I took a lunch break (found the most healthiest food on site, I'm now on a Booster Juice diet), then went back to annoy the CCA folks in the IT office. One of the guys got me set up with a laptop, and we took a seat beside the media bench for the Mixed Doubles event. I then spent the entire draw live tweeting the scores for @CCACurling. So much fun! I was tweeting on my own account and taking photos too, so really watched no curling at all, but it's all good (that's why I have a PVR, plus it'll be on TSN's online video archive too, I hope). The hardest part was trying to see the score from all the way across the arena, but I only made one typo because of my poor eyesight!

Sneaky backstage shot before the Mixed teams go out. It's not very glamourous backstage.

Can you see me? Top row, beige jacket, sitting to the left of the media bench. The laptop was an excellent source of heat. I stole this photo from @neilp316, so thank you very much for spotting me and posting the photo! It was really neat meeting @neilp316, as we follow each other on Twitter. It's always fun meeting a Twitter friend, and it's been nice to see a familiar face around the venue.

My view of the media bench, another angle you wont ever see on tv.

Team photo!

My view. See, those scoreboards are really far away! No wonder I thought the 3 was a 5!

Next up was the Q&A with the mens skips in the Patch. It was high-larious. Martin is quite a talker, Murdoch has a charming accent and Ulrsud is funny. There were plenty of hair jokes, and more talk about how curling in Europe is different from North American. It's interesting: Europe lacks curlers/clubs/sponsorship funding, yet many of the athletes are full time curlers - yet in Canada there's tons of curlers/clubs/sponsorship funding, yet they all have other full time jobs/careers. At the end, some one asked Ulsrud if he used to be a model, and the host made him do a model catwalk. Too hilarious.

Stuart (the voice of the event), Martin, Koe, Fenson, Edin, Ulsrud, Murdoch.

"I'm too sexy" - not even joking he actually did it!

I don't normally hang out in the Patch, but I did do a bit of chatting afterwards before hanging out in the volunteer lounge over the dinner break. Sometimes it's lonely being a solo volunteer with no entourage, but there's always someone to talk to. The volunteers are all so lovely - it's like a nice little community where you can talk to anyone. I met a lot of CCA staff, event staff, and media today, and they too were all lovely. Everyone answered my stupid questions about their job, and told stories or details about what it was like to work the events. That was much appreciated, they really made me feel part of the machine that puts on such a successful event! Curling people rock!

The evening was a mish mash. First I walked around with my shift partner refilling stock in the lounges. Then I went back to the media bench (got to sit on it this time!!) to tweet the first half of the game. I made another typo, but the had just asked me to move seats a couple levels up so I was distracted. The highlight of this was talking to the media/staff - the company was a highlight more so than actually sitting on the media bench or even watching the curling! At the fourth end break I returned my laptop to the CCA IT office (Found out that they were going to let me film the morning media scrum but I can't because I have to go into work for a couple hours - rats! Maybe next time! Although, I'd probably be pretty shaky so maybe it's for the best.). Then I did another final refill/garbage run with my partner. 

My first view, just above the North America coach/captain. Pretty darn close!

View from the top. I am not going to get any close ups of the on ice action this week, eh?

The view after I got moved. Don't feel bad for me, it was fun because I was just below the commentators box and could actually hear them, plus the others at the table were nice to talk to.

The newspaper guy sitting beside me got handed this at one point. It's the team assignments for the weekend. This was before it was announced on TSN, so I did ask permission to post it to Twitter. Can you spot the typo?

To cap it off, I found out the CCA has been following my blog/twitter for like two years. (Hi! Thanks for everything today, it was super fun! I hope I was able to help out a bit. You all really made my day fascinating and I appreciate your time and effort! I'd love to help out with future events - you know I'm quite keen and enthusiastic. You'll be seeing me around for the next few decades, guaranteed!) Perhaps it's time to try a little harder on the grammar/spell check/impressive language/stellar writing ability front.

Two more days of awesomeness to come!